Printing prices have gone up on campus, putting students in a bind if they need a quick print, but have no money on their student ID card.
The increase in printing prices on campus went into effect on Jan. 2. The current full-colour price is now $0.50 for one sided prints and $0.75 for double sided.
Dave Totton, senior director of IT Operations at UNB, said that this was due in part to students not using the service as much as they used to.
“The reason costs increased was because at the previous rate, combined with a decline in student usage, the actual cost of running colour printers was not being covered,” said Totton.
According to the poster placed on printers in the HIL, the new price change will also standardize print pricing across UNB, as there was previously price differences between some of the public lab locations.
There are options for students to print off campus, with some locations offering better prices than UNB. The following prices were calculated to include tax, with the UNB prices not being taxed to begin with.
UNB Staples UPS Store 6 Colour Copy one-sided$0.50$0.40$1.15 (under 10 pages)$0.29two-sided$0.75$0.90$2.30$0.52
But of course for students who don’t have cars or their own printers, or who need to print something in a hurry, printing on campus is a handy option to have.
In comparison to other printing options around Fredericton, UNB’s printing rates aren’t particularly high; however, some students believe that printing and scanning services should be covered by the university or by student fees.
Third year student Curtis Brewster said he’s faced a number of problems trying to print on campus, from being turned away for being a few cents short on his student card to being told he needs to give notice before printing at Marshall D’Avray.
“It can't be that difficult to just have printers sitting around where you can easily hook up and print,” said Brewster.
Brewster said students face a number of fees when attending university, and he doesn’t understand why some of the money we pay isn’t allocated to services such as printing.
“Make it cost-free and hassle free, because...folks don't like having to do everything for a system that should have enough money to buy some paper and printers,” said Brewster.
Richard Du, next year’s UNBSU president, hopes to resolve many of these issues with a centralized Print & Media Services Centre on campus. He acknowledges the dissatisfaction that some students have expressed with printing on campus, including the prices.
“We think that [printing on campus] is really expensive given the tight budgets of a lot of students, and it’s inconvenient at times as well due to the current online system—live print—not sometimes working at its full capacity,” said Du.
“What we want to offer—our vision—is to create a print centre that offers reliable and affordable printing for students.”
Du said that since the Student Union is a non-profit organization for students, they can run a printing centre without aiming to make any profit.
He said their eventual goal is to have the centre staffed by students, including those who currently work out of the Welcome Centre.
“Those students can just simply be trained to employ the centre and we have enough printing resources to be able to start the service without having to purchase any major equipment,” said Du.
Du said that their goal was to offer breakeven prices for UNB students, with their current price goal being perhaps five cents per page.